Can you really save big on Black Friday, or is it all just a big waste of time?
The answer may have you re-thinking when you shop.
Because while there are savings to be found, they’re not nearly as big as you think (some aren’t even “deals”) at all.
Black Friday may be the biggest shopping day of the year, but it’s NOT always the best time to buy.
Between the throngs of shoppers, limited quantities and sale prices that aren’t as low as you think, Black Friday has become a bit of a farce.
To find out when and how to get the best deals we spoke with experts in retail, as well as consumer savings sites.
Samantha Rego, a writer and Audience Engagement Specialist for Valpak & Savings.com and Jill Cataldo, nationally syndicated author and owner of Super-CouponingR workshops gave us the scoop, along with tips to help you save.
Here’s what we found out:
· When you see a deal grab it- don’t wait for Black Friday: Why? because “sales” during Black Friday may not be what they seem.
Many of those great deals you see on Black Friday are nothing more than an illusion, so when you see an item on sale, even if it’s July, take advantage.
As Samantha explained: “many retailers artificially lower prices on big shopping days”, so consumers think they are saving, when in fact they are paying close to full price.
This sentiment was echoed by Andrea, a retail manager for over 20 years who has worked in both Macy’s and Nordstroms.
She explained that it is: “standard practice in the industry for stores to raise prices before holidays, then offer ‘huge discounts’ when sales days rolls around”.
Samantha suggests shopping early at stores that guarantee price adjustments or matches if the price drops within a certain amount of time after purchase.
With these stores you can go back with your receipt and be refunded the difference: so you avoid the crowds and still get the best deal.
· Be aware of WHEN the best deals are: Samantha let us in in a big secret: some items are on sale before Black Friday, so it pays sometimes to shop early.
For instance, travel deals/items are typically at their lowest price between Nov. 15-21, the week before Thanksgiving, and toys are cheapest between December 7-15 .
For a complete list of when to buy, from clothing to toys, check out this infographic, courtesy of Savings.com
·If you shop during Black Friday week, do your homework: It can be time consuming, not to mention aggravating, trying to comparison shop to see which stores have the best prices.
Luckily, Jill and Samantha both have solutions to these problems that can save you lots of time and money.
Flipp is a free app that gathers all the circulars in your area (just enter the zip code) and puts them in an easy to use format.
It also lets you search for individual items, showing you who has the item and at what price.
Jill also suggests checking a store’s inventory before you go there because at this time of the year many stores sell out of items.
Samantha suggests using an app called Price Jump, which compares prices while you are actually shopping.
Price Jump is an in-store tool that takes comparison shopping to a new level: just scan the bar code of the item you are interested in and the app will show you the lowest price online, the lowest price in your area and the lowest price on Amazon.
· Black Friday sales are NOT one-time super deals: many of these 1-day or Black Friday Only sales items are actually offered at other times of the year, so you can get the same deal- minus all the crowds and commotion.
Best Buy is guilty of this practice.
They are advertising the iPad Air 2 (16 GB) for $100 off.
That’s a nice deal, except this is a deal Best Buy offers throughout the year.
They had the same deal several times this year, including 4th of July, so this is hardly a special sales price you can’t find at any other time.
·If you want the newest toys/electronics expect to pay: Why? Because many Black Friday sale items are older models.
If you pay close attention you’ll realize a majority of the big ticket items that are on sale during Black Friday are older models, not the newer ones.
Fact is you are not getting a 60″ Samsung TV for $200 or the latest iPhone for $100 (or even $200).
For example, Walmart has 10 HDTV’s on sale this Black Friday, with a 32″ Roku for $125.
While $125 is a great price, the fact is it is a Roku, not a Sony or a Samsung.
Yes, they do have brand names TV’s on sale too, but they are in a higher price bracket.
A Samsung 55″ Curve TV is going for $998, which saves you $600- a definite deal, but it requires you to spend more.
The bottom line: any time is a good time to shop if the price is right.
If you want to shop during Black Friday, be smart and follow our expert tips to maximize savings and minimize your stress.
Do you plan to shop during Black Friday 2015? Have any shopping tips you want to pass along?
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